Location based services are going to be a part of ‘content enablement’ under India’s National Telecom Policy, and the Indian government might look at giving access to consumer location information to mobile value added services companies, reports PTI. As per the report, the National Telecom Policy will lay down guidelines for mobile Value Added Services, especially for content delivery. We haven’t been able to find a copy of NTP 2011. If you have it, please do share a copy with nikhil [at] medianama [dot] com.
The availability of such information will be dependent on the deployment with telecom operators. Remember that the Indian government has been looking to sharpen location awareness to 100 meters, and eventually, to 50 meters.
Location information, in varying degrees of accuracy, is already available with telecom operators. As an example, take a look at MapMyIndia’s deployment with Aircel, and Bharti Airtel’s previous deployment of Buddy Finder.
Location based services information can act as a fundamental layer on top of which content delivery takes place, and allow location based services to target a much wider base. But remember that there’s always been a lot of hype about location based services, but no deployment – apart from maps and of late, check-ins – has so far seen significant customer uptake.
Should Location Information Be Shared?
Our stand on a move to open up access to location data:
– User/cell phone location should not be directly shared by telecom operators with anyone, including vendors. Instead, the telecom operator, which already has some location specific data, should enable automated content delivery without user or cell number identification. That, in varying degrees, is already being done.
– Access to this information should be permission based. Users should automatically be opted out of such services.
Remember that triangulation allows wider reach – it allows companies to target a wider range of handset owners, because it doesn’t require GPS. GPS based handsets are more expensive than non-GPS handsets. Additionally, it doesn’t need an application to be on at any given time to ascertain the location of a user.